The Ward 4 race for the Nevada City Council comes down to three choices for representation — Charlie Good, Dane Nealson and Jason Sampson. Ward 4 is roughly the southeast part of Nevada (see map). All three men were given the same set of questions and asked to respond.


Charlie Good


Age: 59


Occupation: Owner of Good & Quick, since 1994


Why are you running for the Ward 4 seat?


Running for Ward 4 because of open seat, and want to represent the people of the ward. I think I have the experience and ability to lead.


Rec Center, a new baseball field and the changing over of Gates Hall from the City to the School is a big project being discussed right now. Where do you stand on this project and/or each component of the project?


I am not a fan of the rec center. We have three fitness centers in town. I know that there is a shortage of gym space, but the $4 million spent will not produce any revenue. Once the center is built, there will be ongoing expenses that most people don’t take in to account. I don’t believe we need to or should be competing against to other centers — I would consider if it was tennis, basketball court, walking track, racquetball only, no weights, bicycles, treadmills. I believe if we are going to bond out money for a project, it should be for a housing development that would pay dividends by bringing new families to town. Building a 100 to 150 house development would both increase the population, the tax base, the enrollment in schools. Selling the property would pay back the investment. We have been falling behind other towns such as Bondurant, Huxley, Slater, Story City for growth.


I do not see any reason for a new baseball field. All we need is lights, approx $150,000 to $185,000. The flooding has not been problem for quite sometime. The liability issue on foul balls could be fixed with nets installed above fencing. I don’t know of any insurance claim on any passing vehicles.


I believe if we were to sell Gates Hall to the school, that would lead to everyone thinking we would need a new hall sooner or later. Not a fan. I know that we will be looking at a new elementary school in the next three to five years. The business offices could be incorporated into the new building.


Fireworks was a huge discussion this year, and could be a huge discussion in the coming year, depending on what the state chooses to change or not change. In your opinion, what is right for Nevada when it comes to fireworks?


The fireworks issue to me is not a big issue. I am not in favor of banning them. I think strict enforcement and fines to keep people in check. I know some people continued to shoot them off after 9 p.m.. That was a pain, but a few should not ruin it for the ones that did follow the rules.


Name two other issues in town that you believe need to be addressed in the coming year? And, where would you stand on these issues?


• Issue of the Highway 30 and S-14, Sixth street interchange — I will continue to be in opposition of the DOT on closing us down on Sixth Street. I will not back down on this. I would like to continue working on this, and moving to get back on the DOT five-year plan.


• I believe we need a school resource officer back in the schools. We have a growing problem with drug abuse and we need to keep it out of our schools, and our city. Putting an officer in the schools will help detour possible abuse and any other problems.


Why are you the best choice for the Ward 4 position?


I have business experience and know fiscal responsibility.


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Dane Nealson


Age: 31


Occupation: Certified Pharmacy Technician


Why are you running for the Ward 4 seat?


I love Nevada and all it has to offer. My wife and I grew up in small towns, and having worked here previously myself, Nevada was a natural place to settle as we plan to raise a family. Nevada is a small and dynamic community, and we are competing with other communities near Ames as young families move to Story County. I would love to be part of the effort to grow our community going forward.


The Rec Center, a new baseball field and the changing over of Gates Hall from the city to the school is a big project being discussed right now. Where do you stand on this project and/or each component of the project?


The current City Council has done a fantastic job throughout the process of making sure the public has input on this issue. We are competing with Gilbert, Huxley, Story City and other nearby communities, and recreational opportunities are a big draw not only to young families, but also to potential employers looking at the area. Between the economic appeal and the needs for more recreational space for the community, the need is there. Funding must be done in the most responsible way possible, causing as little financial impact as possible for property owners and small businesses. Putting it at SCORE Park is a start, with infrastructure already in place reducing the price tag significantly.


Tradition is important. My old high school, built in 1908, was torn down in 2005; my class was the last to graduate from the building. I hated seeing it torn down, but I also understand the economic realities that led to that decision. The proposal to sell Gates Hall would leave the name in place and the auditorium intact. In addition to still being available for rentals by the community, student groups currently lacking space would be able to use it. In some ways, the original mission of the building may be fulfilled even more.


The current facilities at Billy Sunday lie on a flood plain, and with the city’s hands largely tied by federal laws with regard to flood mitigation, it doesn’t make financial sense to pay to repair it every time we have a rainy season. A new stadium will allow Nevada to host tournaments the current facilities will not. A discussion also needs to be had about how to best recognize Billy Sunday at the new ballpark.


Fireworks was a huge discussion this year, and could be a huge discussion in the coming year, depending on what the state chooses to change or not change. In your opinion, what is right for Nevada when it comes to fireworks?


This is a tough topic for me, as both sides have great points. Sitting at the forum, I found myself nodding in agreement with those discussing how fireworks were a means of bringing their neighbors together, something sorely missing in the era of social media. On the flip side, I was disheartened when multiple people presented remnants of fireworks that landed on their roofs, in their yards and in the streets. This is one of those situations where both sides are right, and the trick is finding a solution that is palatable for all. I felt the hours the city planned for this winter were adequate, and I would tend to follow that lead next summer — contingent upon what happens during the spring legislative session in Des Moines.


Name two other issues in town that you believe need to be addressed in the coming year? And, where would you stand on these issues?


1. Sixth Street access from U.S. Highway 30. Protecting access to Sixth Street from U.S. Highway 30 is an absolute must. Our vibrant downtown district is vital to the long-term health of our community, and we are putting a lot of money into renovation and improvements. It would make no sense for us to spend the money to improve it, only to have it shut off from traffic along Highway 30. I oppose any plan that would include permanently closing that access point.


2. Infrastructure. As I’ve knocked on doors, the single biggest issue I’ve heard from residents is the need for continued improvements in infrastructure. I agree this must be high on the city’s priority list. With downtown reconstruction, the new wastewater plant, storm sewer, and road and sidewalk projects all on the docket, I also want to ensure the city adequately communicates plans so that residents and business owners can plan accordingly.


Why are you the best choice for the Ward 4 position?


I’ve spent most of my adult life volunteering in leadership roles, serving other people and striving to make my community a better place. I’ve worked hard throughout this campaign to meet voters at their doors, to hear their concerns and answer questions, and I will bring that same work ethic to the council if elected. I am a problem-solver and a consensus-builder, and I want to use those abilities to help lead Nevada forward in the coming years. I feel my experiences and personality would make serving the people of Nevada in this role a natural fit, and I hope to earn that privilege this November.


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Jason Sampson


Age: 46


Occupation: Director of Transportation/Chief Mechanic Nevada and Colo-NESCO CSD


Why are you running for the Ward 4 seat?


After moving to Iowa six years ago and Nevada over three years ago my family and I have come to call Nevada and Iowa our new home. My wife and I are both originally from Illinois. In Illinois and Iowa I have seen great and poor growth within the different communities we have lived and worked in. My family wants to give back to this town that has offered us new opportunities and great new friendships. I believe Nevada needs solid grounded leadership that can create new projects.


Rec Center, a new baseball field and the changing over of Gates Hall from the City to the School is a big project being discussed right now. Where do you stand on this project and/or each component of the project?


The Rec Center project has the potential to be an excellent opportunity for the City of Nevada and school district. If planned properly we could finish the project with the ability to expand later when the funds are more available. This would allow Nevada to put funding towards the project without taking away from our current critical infrastructure needs or increasing taxes on the citizens. It is important the Vision 2020 project does not conflict with our local business interests.


Fireworks was a huge discussion this year, and could be a huge discussion in the coming year, depending on what the state chooses to change or not change. In your opinion, what is right for Nevada when it comes to fireworks?


First and foremost, I am very patriotic and love this country that I served as an Army Reserve with an Honorable Discharge. Fireworks can be an excellent way to celebrate the 4th of July. According to the surveys and feedback from current council men and woman’s intake of phone calls and concerns about 70 percent wanted the times and duration adjusted the other 30 percent were split for and against fireworks altogether. As councilman I would support a reduction in the duration and a change in the time of day that fireworks could legally be used. I believe this will go a long way in making the fireworks holiday more acceptable to the community.


Name two other issues in town that you believe need to be addressed in the coming year? And, where would you stand on these issues?


1. The continuation of our infrastructure upgrades. Nevada is on the right path and needs to remain on that path by not deviating from our goals or putting them on hold. The 6th street project has hurt some of our local businesses, however it is a needed upgrade to our infrastructure.


2. More housing. Single family housing developments with the new family/first time home buyers in mind. Many Nevada residents I have spoke with have mentioned attracting another senior living complex for the elderly that are self-sustainable but are living on a fixed income.


Why are you the best choice for the Ward 4 position?


As the Director of Transportation for Nevada and Colo-NESCO School Districts I already have the responsibility to study, plan, and implement capital projects. I already have the skills to manage employees and listen to their concerns and help with those concerns when possible. Having happy employees is critical in having a successful team. When you see a need or an area that is not going as smooth as it could giving the people in charge the tools to be the best they can at their own job will make them want to stay. At my current position driver retention is a problem throughout the country. Since coming to Nevada my highest priority has been employee retention and I’m happy to say I have been able to accomplish that year after year. Happy people stay. I have used my sense of humor and understanding to relate to people. I will listen to community members like I listen to my bus drivers.


If I give someone my word I stick to it. I will use all of my previous experience from life and living in different areas to help better Nevada. I will do what is right for Nevada and its citizens not what will benefit myself.